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Old July 17th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #1
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Location: Bethesda, MD
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How Good are Tape Head Cleaners?

Some say they put hours of wear on your heads in just seconds; but having them professionally cleaned every 40 hours is too expensive. Some tape head cleaners are made of microfiber. Anyone have any experiences -- good or bad?

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Old July 17th, 2003, 12:11 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
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Tape cleaners are recommended by the camera manufactures. If used according to the directions in the camera instruction manual and printed with the cleaning cassette, they are safe and do an fair to good job. Nothing beats a professional cleaning. When we did cleanings on cameras, we would disassemble 1/3 to 1/2 the camera to get to the upper drum assembly (heads). This allowed great access to the tape path etc. and we could clean and lube the camera properly. Most people don't want to pay for the labor to have someone clean the camera right. Hence the abundance of cleaning tapes.

I use them infrequently, and I do not feel they cause excessive wear if used properly.
Jeff Donald
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Old July 17th, 2003, 12:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Everyone has his opinion. Mine is that cleaning tapes are sand paper.
I followed Tascam's recommendations when the DA-88 first came out and
had to pay for a new head stack within two months (they said to clean
all the time . . . then changed their minds when those in the field
started to bitch about $500 repair bills and that Tacam should cover them).
The DA-88 repair guru said each cleaning was equal to 8 hours of head life gone.

Cleaning tapes work, but if you stick to the same type of tape you can go a LONG
time without having to clean. Lots longer than 40 hours. I've known
of a thousand hours without trouble.

If you stick to the same brand, then are forced to change, use a cleaning
tape before putting in the new brand.
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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